It's no secret: All tears used up after 27 years of onions

Gunzey’s Onions GUNZEY’S ONIONS: Harold Gonzales cuts almost 100 pounds of onions a day to use in making Gunzey’s Hot Sausage sandwiches at the Grange Fair in Centre Hall.

By BARBARA BRUEGGEBORS Times County Editor

He sits by the hour in his easy chair - peeling onions and never shedding a tear.

“Everybody wants to know my secret,” says Harold “Gunzey” Gonzales, the sprightly senior citizen whose hot sausage stands have become a fixture at Grange Fair. “I figure after 27 years of peeling onions I have no more tear ducts left – they’re burned out.”

For 27 summers now, the Gonzaleses - Harold and Lois - have followed the central Pennsylvania fair circuit, selling hot sausages and other sandwich delicacies like “pigburgs” and “barnyards” from the back of a truck.

Now joined by their daughter, son-in-law and grandsons, the family annually works fairs in Huntingdon, Clearfield, Bloomsburg and West End (Laurelton) as well as in Centre Hall. after working on the railroad for 35 years, he’s entitled to take it easy in his retirement.

Did he say “take it easy?”

The Gunzey crew is up at the crack of dawn to feed the breakfast crowd and follows the night owls to bed.

“Ah, this is more of a hobby to me than anything else,” Gonzales says, laughing through the onion fumes. “It’s really my wife’s business. And when it comes to peeling, she’s twice as fast as I am. You ought to be talking to her.”

“This is our ninth year at Grange Fair,” Gonzales said. “The tenters are starting to know us now.”

Dressed in running shoes, shorts and a purple and gray shirt emblazoned with the words “GUNZEY’S HOT SAUSAGE.” Gonzales sits in his chair on the midway, peeling his way through 100 pounds of onions a day and letting the world go by.